Thursday, October 2, 2008


I want to elaborate a little bit more on "the guardians" before I begin my "Crazy Town" post. "Crazy Town" is where one finds one's self if they view coincidence or synchronicity through a lens of fear. I was there man! But, it was just one stop on the journey and it was an interesting journey that many people my age have taken. I'd like to share it with you as well as showing what prompted me to start blogging about it. Later though.

The temple interior, the belly of the whale, and the heavenly land beyond, above, and below the confines of the world, are one and the same. That is why the approaches of and the entrances to temples are flanked and defended by colossal gargoyles: dragons, lions, devilslayers with drawn swords, resentful dwarves, winged bulls. These are the threshold guardians to ward away all incapable of encountering the higher silence within. They are preliminary embodiments of the dangerous aspect of the presence, corresponding to the mythological ogres that bound the conventional world, or the two rows of teeth of the whale. They illustrate the fact that the devotee at the moment of the entry into the temple undergoes a metamorphosis. --Joseph Campbell

This is J.C.'s stock image of "the guardians":

Here are the Lions in front the New York Public Library. That is my kind of sacred space.

I mentioned earlier how our fundamental guardians are our parents represented perhaps by our so called first parents.

This following image is of the High Priestess. She is The Goddess. Choose your own name, Isis, Persephone, Venus, etc.  Notice that one pillar is dark and the other is light. I'm beginning to touch the duality here. Ours is a world of dualities. Night and Day. Black and White. Good and Evil. Positive and Negative. Beatles and Stones. Male and Female. Adam and Eve are opposites but the High Priestess is the "one, out of many". She implies the union of opposites.

Is this the same image? It is a Masonic image.

This image by Michelangelo depicts our guardians twice, once during temptation and once after the fall. The serpent coiled up the tree is a symbol we shall see more of.

This set depicts the serpent as feminine or connected with the feminine. The important things to keep in mind are the symbolic features: dualistic guardians, center tree/pole/staff, serpent on the tree. In the last of the two images, we see Lilith acting as the tree and perhaps functioning like the goddess in the middle.

Now we are getting somewhere! The first image is known as "the Caduceus". The second is "the rod of Asclepius"

The caduceus (/kəˈduːsiəs/, -ʃəs, -ˈdjuː-; κηρύκειον in Greek) or wand of Hermes is typically depicted as a short herald's staff entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix, and sometimes surmounted by wings. In later Antiquity the caduceus may have provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury and in Roman iconography was often depicted being carried in the left hand of the Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, gamblers, liars and thieves.
The caduceus is sometimes used as a symbol for medicine, especially in North America, through confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius, which has only a single snake and no wings. Given the historically attested use of this emblem, its adoption as a symbol of medicine is a great irony. . . Wikipedia

The rod of Asclepius (also known as the rod of Asklepios, rod of Aesculapius or asklepian[1]) is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology[citation needed] and with healing the sick through medicine. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. . . Wikipedia

I bet the expression "double helix" got your attention when speaking about the shape of the caduceus. You know where this is going. Maybe first I should introduce a new word:
kundalini |ˌkoŏndlˈēnē|
(in yoga) latent female energy believed to lie coiled at the base of the spine. [Are you thinking about Lilith like I am?]
(also kundalini yoga) a system of meditation directed toward the release of such energy.
ORIGIN Sanskrit, literally 'snake.'

Kundalini (kuṇḍalinī कुण्डलिनी) Sanskrit, literally "coiled". In Indian yoga, a "corporeal energy"[1] - an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent coiled at the base of the spine,[2][3][4] hence a number of English renderings of the term such as 'serpent power'. Kundalini is considered a part of the subtle body along with chakras (energy centres) and nadis (channels). The overall concept has many points in common with Chinese acupuncture.
Yoga and Tantra propose that this energy may be "awakened" by such means as austerities, breath and other physical exercises, visualization and chanting. It may then rise up a subtle channel at the spine (called Sushumna) to the head, bringing psychological illumination. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics.[5] Yogis tend to attempt this alone, Tantrics in couples, both usually under the instruction of a guru.
When Kundalini Shakti is conceived as a goddess, then, when it rises to the head, it unites itself with the Supreme Being (Lord Shiva). The aspirant becomes engrossed in deep meditation and infinite bliss.[6][7]. . . Wikipedia

I'm going to need another definition real soon, but first I'd like to point out the rising serpent power or kundalini energy rising up the spine in the first above image. The second shows the 7 "Chakras" on the spine or "Jacob's Ladder". Once you see this image, you see it everywhere. Joseph Campbell was able to find this idea is many different cultures some separated by the "pre-columbian exchange". Of course the following images allude to why it is so fundamental. This is image of the microcosm and the macrocosm. This is the image of our fundamental unit. DNA.
chakra |ˈ ch äkrə|
(in Indian thought) each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.
ORIGIN from Sanskrit cakra 'wheel or circle,' from an Indo-European base meaning 'turn,' shared by wheel .

Numbers 21:8-

8"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."

John 3:14-
14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

Now let's return to our original point, the guardians! I was calling them, the guardians, Adam and Eve. What if we called them Pingala and Ida?

I'll spare you the esoteric detail of the above image, or not!
In addition to the seven chakras of the subtle body, the Tantras
have described a network of subtle channels known as Nadis.
According to the tantric treatise Shiva Samhita, there are
fourteen principal nadis. Of these, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna
are considered the most important.
Ida is the left channel. Ida is white, feminine, cold, represents
the moon and is associated with the river Ganga (Ganges).
Originating in Muladhara, Ida ends up in the left nostril.
Pingala is the right channel. Pingala is red, masculine, hot,
represents the sun and is associated with the river Yamuna.
Originating in Muladhara, Pingala ends up in the right nostril.
Sushumna is the central channel and is associated with
the river Saraswati. Running up the body from just below
Muladhara chakra to Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head. . .

The above picture was actually the inspiration for this whole post and was my point. It is also literally "our point" as the picture taken from H.A. Rey's The Stars: A New Way To See Them shows the constellations around the north star. Yes he is the author of Curious George and no I don't have permission to scan and use this page. I do want you to buy this book if you have any interest in astronomy. It is the only one you will need for you to become acquainted with the night sky and its behavior. Also, I'm getting all my images and videos from "out there". When I go to print with this, or when someone wants to pay me for this, I will start getting copyright permission to use the images I do.

Anyway, Click the the above image and become acquainted with it. It should become bigger if you click on it. Notice the "Big Dipper". See how its pointer stars point to the "point", our pole star, Polaris. Do you see what the two end stars in the "Little Dipper" are called? Yes they are "The Guardians". My inspiration is one of my favorite constellations, Draco, the dragon. He is pretty snaky though and he is wound around the "pole" star. Pretty interesting huh?

Let's see if I can find an image of "the tree" and maybe that will connect the microcosm with the macrocosm. (There is another pole that I hope you've thought of that I won't show. Remember what I said from King Arthur Lit class, levels of meaning, all of them valid!)

The top of the tree ends at the north star. Maybe that's why we place a star on our Christmas Tree? The second image of the illuminated Christmas Tree is a bit of a noodle baker. Am I seeing double? Can you find Isis?

Of course I can't say guardians and not think of these "twins". Their collapse was the cataclysm that took me to Oz and The Dark Side of the Moon. See ya in Crazy Town!

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